Dunedin Flat Names Project | The Signmaker

Posted 5:47pm Thursday 17th May 2018

Some students and landlords commission the construction of signs, usually from a commercial outfit, but a new (to me, at least) market has emerged. A few years ago I caught up with Jasper, at the time a fourth year law student, who for the previous three years had been making flat signs on Read more...

Dunedin Flat Names Project | Double The Fun

Posted 9:27pm Friday 11th May 2018

One thing I often hear is that students like their flats to have a ‘bit of character’ in their first couple of years flatting. ‘Character’ can often be synonymous with cold or crappy, because toughing it out in an old, cold flat is considered ‘character building,’ Read more...

Dunedin Flat Names Project – Where the Streets Have Many Names

Posted 2:09am Monday 30th April 2018

Puns, colloquialisms and obscure references to in-jokes are part and parcel of the practice of naming flats in Dunedin. Making reference to the environment the flat is situated in is a common theme with particular issues or features of the buildings highlighted, such as the colour or state of the Read more...

Dunedin Flat Names Project | Staying in Touch

Posted 7:42pm Thursday 19th April 2018

As long as student flats have been named, students have communicated their identity in a number of ways – in addition to hanging a shingle out the front of the house, that is. These means of identification go hand in hand with the communications technology of the time. Way back in 1991, I paid Read more...

Dunedin Flat Names Project | The Six60 Flat

Posted 10:24pm Thursday 12th April 2018

Seven years ago on a rainy Monday morning in Christchurch, I picked up the phone and called Ji Fraser from Six60, to interview him about his band, named after their flat at 660 Castle Street. When I asked him about how he found flatting in Dunedin, he responded diplomatically: “Flats are not Read more...

Dunedin Flat Names Project | Being Something You’re Not

Posted 10:37pm Thursday 5th April 2018

Flats with names like Dunedin Police Department, Department of Corrections, and Bed and Breakfast, had homemade signs and were obviously not what they claimed to be. Sometimes signs, like Dunedin Casino or the Glenorchy Tavern or Speight’s, have been “acquired”. There are a couple Read more...

Dunedin Flat Names Project | Who Gnomes About Pussy Planet?

Posted 8:38pm Thursday 22nd March 2018

Not far from the 24 hour dairy on George Street stands a large two storey weatherboard house that has been converted to a 7 bedroom flat. For many years it has had a name, possibly as long as a decade, but last year’s residents made what may be its very first sign. Of the more than 500 Read more...

Dunedin Flat Names Project | Signs of Sex

Posted 9:29pm Thursday 15th March 2018

There is a prevalent sexual theme running through the history of Dunedin’s named flats, though on analysis it is a minority. No doubt the thematic vein of possibilities has not been thoroughly mined. The sexual references in flat names tend broadly to people’s bits, things related to Read more...

What's up with Otago students and stealing road signs?

Posted 5:17pm Thursday 8th March 2018

Who hasn’t stolen a road sign or a road cone, or created a collection of “No Stopping” signs in the corner of their lounge? Flat signs are often made of found materials. Let’s face it, budgets are tight and recycling is a good practice to foster. In the past, signs have Read more...

The Flat Names Project | The Debacle

Posted 4:33pm Saturday 3rd March 2018

  The arrival of students at the beginning of each academic year brings a frisson of excitement to the city, which used to culminate in a toga parade so that, as former OUSA general manager told the ODT, “the community and students could meet and greet each other in a colourful Read more...

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Sarah Gallagher